Last week, King’s students elected a new Student Body President. Peter Flemming, a junior majoring in Business, will serve as president for the 2013-14 academic year.
Last week, King’s students elected a new Student Body President. Peter Flemming, a junior majoring in Business, will serve as president for the 2013-14 academic year. Congrats, Peter!
At most schools, few pay attention to student body presidential elections. In contrast, nearly everyone at King’s—students, faculty, and staff—pays attention. In fact, 67% of students voted in this year’s election. At most universities, 10-25% is typical.
Truth be told, most student presidents have little real influence. When I was a student, the Dean of Students asked me to consider running for student body president. I was honored. But then I asked the current president what leverage he had in his role. His response was disheartening—“Not much. I mainly act as a voice to the administration. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don’t.” I decided not to run.
Student leadership is a hallmark of the King’s experience. We entrust significant responsibility to students. Student leaders, from the Student Body President to House executive teams to the heads of student organizations, play an enormous role in shaping campus culture.
For instance, the House System, the central feature of our student life, is entirely led by students. Interregnum is run by students. Two thirds of Honor Council members are students. Our two-year-old Mock Trial team, now advancing to the national championships, has no coach. Our student government, The King’s Council, manages a budget of $80,000, tackles major issues on campus—spiritual life, campus events, student satisfaction—and has launched numerous student organizations. Elections matter at King’s. Candidates run rigorous campaigns, discuss the King’s mission, raise pressing concerns, and debate bold proposals. Once elected, the student body president tackles real issues and implements real change. It’s incredible to witness.
The King’s mission is to shape strategic institutions. Student Body Presidents, along with other student leaders, put feet to that mission here and now.